Think Like a Philosopher
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Think Like a Philosopher

Learn from the greatest thinkers of all time and apply these ideas to your life.
3.3 (3 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
225 students enrolled
Created by Kevin Browne
Last updated 2/2014
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1.5 hours on-demand audio
  • Full lifetime access
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  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • In this course you will learn how to formulate a consistent personal philosophical outlook.
  • In this course you will learn how to justify philosophical positions by appealing to reason and evidence.
  • In this course you will learn how to apply philosophical concepts to everyday life.
View Curriculum
  • This course requires no previous knowledge of philosophy only an interest in learning and an open mind!

At this point you may be asking yourself: What does philosophy have to do with me? This is a common question for students to ask especially after a brief exposure to some of the concepts in philosophy. However, philosophy has a direct bearing on much of everyday life. Let's look at it in terms of the major questions we'll address in this course.

Is knowledge innate or learned from sense experience? If you have children this question and the search for an answer has direct bearing on your life since the question has major implications for education. Nearly every educator has been a philosopher or influenced by a philosopher for whom this was an important question. The origin of knowledge and how it is acquired is important to know or have some idea about if you are at all concerned about effective education. For adults the question has bearing as well in terms of being able to learn new things. In an economy drive by information and information technology how we process this information is directly relevant to our everyday lives. So, philosophers like John Locke, Immanuel Kant, and John Dewey who investigate this question are also relevant.

Is the mind independent of the brain? Philosophers and scientists have been investigating the mind, the brain, and their interaction for centuries. We'll see many competing theories on this question but how is any of this relevant to you? One very big word can answer that: psychopharmacology. Do you or anyone you know take some medication for ADHD, ADD, depression, bipolar disorder? If so, then questions about how the mind and brain work and interact are directly relevant to your everyday life not to mention your overall mood, happiness, and general mental state. These drugs could not have been discovered and developed without some idea about how the mind and brain worked. While these may seem like exclusively scientific questions, much of the work in the area of neurology has been done and continues to be done by philosophers. Some of the philosophers we'll look at in this area include Rene Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, John Searle, and J.J.C. Smart.

Is there an objective reality independent of appearance and perception? This question sounds very esoteric and perhaps far removed from and irrelevant to everyday life. But, like most philosophical concepts, relevance lurks just below the surface if you know where to look. Many of you may be familiar with the prayer of serenity:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Embedded in this prayer is the notion that there is a difference between what you can change and what you cannot. This is simply the distinction between objective reality and perception. Though not all philosophers we'll study agree that there is a difference between the two, the notion that there is a difference is the basis of at least one major school of philosophy called Stoicism. The notion that there is a difference between what you can change or control and what you cannot is a central idea in Stoicism and as such has formed the philosophical basis for much of self-help psychology. One consistent piece of advice contained in almost every volume of self-help literature is the importance of recognizing this distinction.

Is there a God? For many of you this will be one of the easiest questions to relate to everyday life especially if you practice some form of religion. But, it may also seem irrelevant since you may be thinking that it can only be answered by faith and therefore is not worth asking. But, these sentiments themselves are philosophical in nature and bear examining (which we will do!). One philosopher we'll be studying named Thomas Aquinas pointed out that the question of God's existence is fundamental to every other religious question one can ask. If God's existence cannot be established the remaining religious questions are moot. At the very least an examination of the historical ideas related to these questions might be enlightening and lead to a deepening of one's religious sentiments.

My purpose in this class is not to tell you what to think. I want to show you how to think philosophically but I do not want to change your beliefs. Philosophy may challenge them but it need not destroy them. In fact, you may find that it will strengthen them.

So I invite you to enter the world of philosophy!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is designed for an introductory student and requires no previous knowledge of philosophy.
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Curriculum For This Course
27 Lectures
Introduction: What is Philosophy?
1 Lecture 12:57

An overview of the main philosophical areas we'll be discussing in this course with an emphasis on questions of knowledge, reality, and their application to everyday life.

Preview 12:57
Philosophy: Ancient Philosophy
8 Lectures 01:00:16

An overview of how ideas are very powerful and influential to our everyday lives.

The Power of Ideas

5 Common misconceptions about philosophy are addressed.

5 Misconceptions About Philosophy

Plato's theory of the forms is covered in this lecture as well as the reasoning behind it and the problems it was designed to solve.


Some ideas for applying the insights of Plato to everyday life.

Practical Applications: Plato

In this lecture we will discuss Aristotle's reactions to Plato's theory of the forms and his own alternative theory. This provides us with some insight into the process of theory development and criticism which is a central part of the development of philosophical ideas.


Some ideas for applying the insights of Aristotle to everyday life.

Practical Applications: Aristotle

We consider some of the important schools of philosophy after Aristotle including the Stoics whose ideas continue to be a source of insight for solving everyday problems.

Philosophy After Aristotle

A description of the relevance of philosophy to everyday life.

The Relevance of Philosophy
Philosophy: Modern Philosophy
11 Lectures 01:07:27

An examination of the empirical philosophy of John Locke and how it led to the metaphysics of idealism.

John Locke and George Berkeley

An examination of how we can use the insights of John Locke in everyday life.

Practical Applications: John Locke

David Hume's "radical empiricism" which entails a denial of such seemingly obvious ideas as cause and effect, material substance, and the self.

David Hume

Some examples are given of how Hume insight about belief can be applied to everyday life.

Practical Applications: David Hume

An overview of Kant's critical philosophy which attempted to solve the problems left behind by Hume's radical empiricism.

Immanuel Kant

Some tips on using philosophy to help you get organized.

Can Philosophy Help You Get Organized?

Philosophy After Kant

More recent developments of rationalism including current research and findings which seem to bear out the claim that some of our knowledge is innate.


An examination of early 20th century philosophy which sets the stage for our investigation of the ideas of Ludwig Wittgenstein.

The 20th Century

Some practical insights from Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations.

Practical Applications: Wittgenstein 1

Some practical insights from Wittgenstein's On Certainty.

Practical Applications: Wittgenstein 2
Philosophy of Religion and Ethics
7 Lectures 29:42

A short thought experiment in ethics.

God's Top 10

A short thought experiment in ethics.

Do The Right Thing

A short thought experiment in ethics.

Intolerance is a Virtue

A short thought experiment in ethics.

Don't Worry Be Happy

A short thought experiment in ethics.

To Plug or Not to Plug

A final summation of the philosophers and ideas covered in the course with some additional insights into the practical application.

FInal Thoughts

A final thought about philosophy and everyday life.

This is not the end...
About the Instructor
Kevin Browne
3.3 Average rating
3 Reviews
225 Students
1 Course
Professor of Philosophy

I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville, KY. I have been teaching philosophy for over 12 years. The courses I currently teach include introduction to logic, introduction to philosophy, ethics, medical ethics, and business ethics. I teach these courses online as well as in person.

My research interests in philosophy include philosophical counseling, philosophy of education, philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein.

I am a practicing philosophical counselor and member of the American Philosophical Practicioners Association. I have published books on introductory philosophy, logic, ethics, and business ethics.